Mumbai

1998 Mumbai blast convict granted parole

A view of the Bombay High Court.   | Photo Credit: VIVEK BENDRE

The Bombay High Court recently directed authorities of the Nasik Road Central Prison to release Aftab Saeed Ahmed Shaikh, convicted in the 1998 Mumbai railway bomb blast case, on parole for 30 days.

On September 19, 2020 the Superintendent of Nashik jail had Shaikh’s plea seeking emergency parole owing to the pandemic. He then moved the court with the plea.

A division bench of Justices S.S. Shinde and Manish Pitale was hearing a criminal petition filed by Shaikh through advocate Abhishek Bhadang of the legal aid panel.

Advocate Bhadang informed the court that Shaikh has already undergone more than 23 years of imprisonment. Replying to the order passed by the Superintendent of Nashik Jail, Mr. Bhadang argued that the only reason his plea for emergency parole was rejected because he is a bomb blast convict. He also said that on one instance after being released on furlough leave, Shaikh had reported late by 14 days and that this reason is not sustainable and he deserves relief.

Public prosecutor Deepak Thakare opposed the plea and said the sessions court while convicting Shaikh had specifically said the State should not act liberally while entertaining any request by him for commutation or remission of sentence.

The court took into consideration that despite observations from the sessions court, the jail authorities had granted Shaikh furlough/parole on four occasions. The court said it is clear from the record that Shaikh had reported back on time on three occasions and only on one occasion he reported late by 14 days that too after applying for an extension for parole leave.

The court said Shaikh can be released on regular parole for a period of 30 days instead of acceding to grant of emergency parole. “It would be appropriate and in the interest of justice, the petitioner is granted regular parole instead of relief of emergency parole for a long period of time,” the court noted.

The order read, “We are of the opinion that specific direction is necessary in the present case for Shaikh to surrender” and directed that he be released on parole for 30 days subject to the conditions of Prisons (Bombay Furlough and Parole) Rules.


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Printable version | Jun 18, 2021 4:59:43 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/mumbai/1998-mumbai-blast-convict-granted-parole/article34557863.ece

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